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Our Anniversary:
June 21
(275 more days)


About Beth Bottom

Meet Beth, grade-A, ichiban Kookikins supreme and clearly the "better" half of our couple.

Beth enjoys a ride across the Abaco Sound
Beth Bottom
Birthday: January 14, 1970
Little-Known Fact:
Beth was once mistaken for Growing Pains actor Kirk Cameron. At least he was a "pretty boy!"
Favorite Musicians:
Everything from A to Z; Beth likes Aerosmith, Cake, Eminem, Tom Petty, and ZZ Top, among many others
Interests / Hobbies:
Birds and birdwatching; animal welfare (pets are a lifestyle, not a hobby!); eclectic music; ethnic food; crafting; jewelry making; and container gardening; writing children's books; crochet

Agi enjoys a ride in Beth's backpack

Let's see, what to say... I have had a blast writing the bios of my wedding party, parents, and pets, but have put off writing my own. I suppose most people who know me realize I sometimes seem a little kooky and altogether ooky. OK, I'll stop quoting The Adams Family theme song, although I think in some ways their philosophy resembles my own: I'm different than the average Jayne and have come to embrace this rather than be embarrassed by it. As a kid, I loathed ever being the center of attention, which my last name forced me into every single day in school when the teacher called role. "Bottom. Bueller. Anyone? Anyone?" Of course kids laughed when they heard my name Bottom, and so did some adults. I ignored them but inside was deeply embarrassed by their jibes. Although I still loathe being the center of attention, I've grown and stopped caring so much about what people think of me. I realize how fortunate I was to grow up with such an unusual last name as Bottom. It has given me character and forced me to grow as a person. Now that I'm 35 years old, I'm going to retire the name "Beth Bottom," which has been an integral part of myself for so many years, and after June 21, 2005, will be known as Beth Nolley.

During my 20s, I didn't think women should give up their identity by taking their husband's name, but now I've mellowed and realize that my identity is well-formed and is not enmeshed in my name. By taking on John's surname of "Nolley," I'll be starting a new saga in this journey called my life. I honestly never thought I would get married, and certainly never wanted a wedding ceremony if I did get married. Getting married is not something I ever aspired to do, and in fact I cherished my single, independent life, free to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to do so. I could pick up and move, which I frequently did, at a moment's notice, without consulting anyone. But in retrospect, I think I was limiting myself by being so self-contained, and if fact, was creating a "bubble life" so-to-speak where I was getting too much in a comfort zone. Meeting John has stretched my boundaries, which I am thankful for. I am even willing to compromise and have a wedding ceremony now, since it is so important to John.

Until recently, I also believed it was a bad idea for couples to live together before getting married. Not that I thought it was morally wrong by any means, but I just thought it ended more relationships from petty daily living issues than would have occurred if the individuals in the couple has lived separately. Then I changed my mind. John and I were engaged in December 2003 and he got a job in northern Virginia in May of 2004, at which point he moved to Arlington. Despite this stand I had always held against pre-marital cohabitation, I really didn't even think much about my decision to move up here in June 2004 and live together. John is an integral part of my life and I did not want to have a long-distance engagement. So I packed up my dogs and my bird Sam and we moved to the big city of Arlington, a few miles outside of Washington D.C. What a country mouse I felt like after moving here! I have always hated crowded, concrete-laden, loud cities, and now I found myself living smack in the middle of one. John was very patient with my difficult adjustment reaction and tried his best to support my ups and downs during the acclimation process. Now a year later, I can honestly say I like living here. True, our apartment is very tight quarters and, like John, I had never envisioned downgrading to apartment living again, but eventually we will move to a bigger place and gain some much-needed elbow room for us and our many pets. I have learned a lot about myself during this transitional period of my life and wouldn't trade it for anything. Like Aerosmith says, "Life is a journey, not a destination." My mom tells me that Steven Tyler was not the original wordsmith of this quote, but whoever said it was right on.

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